On Tuesday, our national debt passed the $16 trillion mark--that is $111,414 per taxpayer. This is irresponsible and unacceptable.
In less than four years, the national debt has increased $5.4 trillion under President Obama's watch--a 50 percent increase. Not only that, but our publicly held debt has increased by 80 percent from $6.3 trillion to about $11.3 trillion, that is more than under any other administration.
Since coming to Washington, I have supported a smaller, more responsible government. Last Congress, I voted against more than $6.2 trillion in new spending. In the 112th Congress, I have voted to cut government spending by more than $600 billion, supported legislation that addresses the drastic lack of transparency by the federal government, and expressed the need for Congress to strictly follow the guidelines established in the Constitution. I am a cosponsor of the Savings Starts With Us Act of 2011 that reduces the annual rate of pay in 2013 for members of Congress. Additionally, this past February, the House passed a bill to extend the pay limitation for members of Congress and federal employees, which would freeze our pay through the end of 2013.
House Republicans have made it very clear that we have listened to the American people, and we understand that our debt, our deficit, and out-of-control government spending creates barriers to job creation in this country. While the president's budget would grow the debt to $26 trillion by 2022, I voted for the FY2012 House Budget Resolution, which sought to reduce federal spending by $6.2 trillion over 10 years. I also supported the FY2013 House Budget Resolution, which cuts $5.3 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years. Unfortunately, the Senate chose to never pass a budget, so these cuts were never put into place. We simply cannot keep borrowing 43 cents of each dollar from the Chinese. The more the government borrows, the more it spends and regulates, making it harder for small business owners to access capital, grow, and hire new workers.
I firmly believe that what makes America great is the freedom individuals have to choose what is best for their families, businesses and local communities. Instead of looking for excuses to grow government, I will continue to fight the three major barriers to job growth: excessive taxation, regulation, and litigation. It is time to put everything on the table, make tough decisions, and start governing responsibly in Washington.